July 25, 2011

Fire extinguished at Portland Aluminium

Site-based emergency response teams and the local Country Fire Authority worked together to extinguish a fire at Portland Aluminium (PA) on Saturday morning.

There were no injuries as a result of the incident and all required emergency and evacuation procedures were followed. The Environment Protection Authority has been notified of the incident.
A full investigation into the cause of the fire is underway.

The fire damaged a 22KV line causing Potline one to lose power for 62 minutes and Potline two off-line for 67 minutes. The Green Mill, part of the anode area, was without power for a further period of time.

The fire began in the Anode MCC (Motor Control Centre) room, and Portland Aluminium emergency response personnel were immediately mobilised. The CFA was then requested to attend and responded rapidly with four vehicles and a crew of sixteen.

The Portland Aluminium fire tender was immediately positioned and connected to help control the fire. The CFA responded rapidly with four vehicles and a crew of sixteen. 

The CFA officers and emergency response team worked together to control the blaze quickly.

CFA captain Gary Harker commended the PA members and his own team for the way in which they worked together to quell the blaze.

“We were impressed with the conduct and skill shown by the emergency response team at PA, and the way in which we are able to work together professionally to get the job done,” he said.

Portland Aluminium Production Manager Peter Chellis echoed the comments and said the crew and emergency response personnel were to be congratulated on the rapid and professional manner in which the joint operation was conducted to control the blaze.

He also praised the PA switchyard personnel for their prompt and safe work to recover power to affected areas of the plant.

Switchyard employees are continuing to investigate and inspect switchyard panels for fire damage and believe power will be restored to the Green Mill as soon as possible.

“I am continually encouraged by the efforts of our employees and contractors. The support for our operation has been outstanding, and I would like to extend my thanks to everyone involved today for their individual and collective efforts," Mr Chellis said
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Media contact: Anna Impey 0404 800 193